Steve Wacht knows better than anyone that as we get older, inevitably things start happening to our bodies and our health. And often, in those times, we tend to get comfortable. We avoid doing things that are unfamiliar and stick with what we know. We settle into a routine and start to live on autopilot.
Wacht joined the Y in 2009 to use the indoor track for daily walking and running – especially during the winter months. For years, he watched his father live with diabetes and knew it was something he needed to keep on top of – and avoid if at all possible.
“At that time I was running about 3 miles per day,” he says. “It was a great way to help me control my weight and manage my pre-diabetic diagnosis.”
In February 2017, the running and walking took a toll on Wacht’s knees and hips and he started feeling the effects of that stress as well as damage from previous injuries. He’d also gained about 20 pounds. His doctor suggested physical therapy to help correct a posture problem, but it wasn’t helping with the pain. That’s when he knew things had to change and he needed to do something different.
There’s a Whole Other World Outside Your Comfort Zone
Wacht determined he could no longer continue with running or elliptical exercise. Instead, he saw a deep water class offered on a Saturday morning and decided to give it a try – even though being in the water was completely out of his comfort zone. After attending that first class, instructor, Leora, sent him home with some individual exercises and offered him encouragement to stick with it. And he has.
These days, Wacht gets to the Y as early as possible – often at 5 a.m. “I jump in and do a solid hour of exercise,” he explains. “I combine lap swimming with the water ex movements Leora taught me.” Diving in each morning, Wacht’s overall health has improved beyond what he could have ever expected. He’s lost 31 pounds and watched his A1C numbers drop significantly. Most of his aches and pains have disappeared, allowing him resume many of his favorite activities.
“When life throws you a setback such as weight gain, illness or physical limitation, don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone try something new,” he smiles.
Wacht has a goal to lose 15 more pounds and has no doubt that with the opportunities available at the Y, he will get there. “All you have to do is come through the door and you have all the tools and support you need to be successful.”